From seed, petunias are simple to grow, whether you start them inside or outside. We prefer to start them in 3″ pots or nursery cells. Petunias make good houseplants if placed in a bright, south-facing window and kept tiny through pinching. (Although we wouldn’t be very agreeable if we were always pinching.)
Try beginning your seedling containers in a cold frame or under fluorescent lights if you don’t have a window that receives direct sunlight.
Petunia seeds are quite fine, so keep that in mind while direct-sowing. If you intend to broadcast-seed, mix them with sand or think about creating your own seed tape. To find out how, see our blog post titled “The Dirt on Successful Seed Germination.”
- No seed treatment is necessary.
- When to Plant Outside: When the soil is Consistently 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Is starting petunias from seed simple?
Undoubtedly yes! Petunias are reasonably simple to cultivate from seed and very simple to grow from seedlings that have been developed commercially.
Use petunias wherever it is sunny. The low-growing varieties are perfect for patios, planters near doorways and swimming pools, and the front of flower borders. To enliven the area, tuck petunias amid evergreen plants. ‘Wave’ petunias can be used as groundcovers. Many home owners plant petunias close to landscape lights installed near a window or patio where they can enjoy the flowers and their guests at night because they frequently draw gorgeous moths after dark.
All varieties of petunias are excellent for window boxes and planters, although the ones with double flowers work better in containers than in beds. Hanging baskets are the perfect place for cascading petunias. 3 seedlings should be planted in each 10-inch basket, regardless of the petunia variety. In a window box or planter, place seedlings about 10 inches apart.
What month should petunias be planted?
One of the most widely used flowers in Louisiana is the petunia. They can be planted in late winter or early spring for warm-season color or in the fall for cool-season color. In local garden centers, you can discover a variety of petunias, as you can with practically any bedding plants these days.
Plant petunias in late January through mid-March for greatest results, or from late September through early November. South Louisiana petunias perform well in the winter. The severity of our winter has a big impact on how well they perform.
Petunias are available in a variety of floral colors. Both single- and double-flowered petunias are available. In general, single-flower forms are more durable over time than double-flower forms.
The following are some “best management methods” to help you enjoy your petunias from now until late spring:
Make sure the garden bed is properly prepared to provide for adequate internal drainage and aeration.
How long does it take for petunias to grow from seed?
When the weather is warm, hot, and throughout the summer, petunias grow the fastest. Petunias are native to Argentina, and they thrive in environments that are similar to those there. Where the days are long and there is no frost in the evenings, they grow the fastest.
Additionally, it’s essential to allow the flower to access sunshine for at least six hours per day when growing there. So here’s the tip if you want your petunias to grow quickly. Put them in a location where they can get enough of sunlight each day.
Additionally, you’ll need adequately drained soil for the greatest outcome. So you’ll need to make some adjustments if your location is constructed of clay. Add various organic ingredients, such compost or peat moss, to achieve this.
Petunia seeds typically germinate within a week, and its indoor growth cycle lasts between 10 and 12 weeks. Additionally, it could take them up to eight weeks to bloom.
However, by obtaining a petunia for transplant, you can quickly accelerate this process. You can spare yourself 12 weeks of stress by doing this.
It’s still possible that you’d like to produce petunias quickly and on your own. Then, you might choose seeds that have been pelletized and coated with substances. By doing this, you can speed up germination by as much as 50%.
About Susan Miller
Susan is inspired by flowers, plants, gardens, and gardening. When she was 12 years old, she began her exploration of the world of plants. She graduated from the University of North Carolina with a bachelor of science in environmental science. She is an avid gardener who is dedicated to cultivating and consuming organic food.
Should petunia seeds be covered?
Petunias can be grown from seed, purchased as little plug plants to grow on, or purchased as plants that are ready for the garden. Because petunias are delicate and cannot withstand any frost, you must wait until late spring or early summer to plant them outside.
A good, rich soil is necessary for petunias to grow well. Before planting, prepare the soil in borders by incorporating a lot of well-rotted compost or soil conditioner. Petunias grow best in multipurpose, peat-free potting compost for pots and containers. Choose a compost that has water-holding granules for raised containers like hanging baskets and window boxes that are exposed to drying sun and wind.
Petunia spacing is greatly influenced by their development pattern, final size, and the environment in which they are produced. Plants can be crowded closely together in pots and other containers to create a stunning display quickly. The smallest compact and upright kinds can be planted as close together as 15-20 cm; bushy petunias with a loose, mounding habit require a wider spacing of about 30 cm; and trailing varieties require a spacing of about 40 cm.
Petunias should be gradually acclimated to the outside for a week or two before being planted outside. When purchasing garden-ready plants, make sure they haven’t been kept in a covered area or in the event that they have, they will need to be hardened off before planting.
Where to grow petunias
Petunias require a lot of sunlight, rich soil, and protection from wind. Petunias will also thrive if given some shade in regions of the country with hot summers or milder climates.
Because of their extreme adaptability, petunias can grow in practically any kind of pot or container, regardless of size or shape.
Petunias that trail off the sides of pots or window boxes make excellent plants for hanging baskets, raised pots, or window boxes. They can be planted to tumble down slopes, banks, and from raised beds, and they create a distinctive and vibrant ground cover in borders.
In a colorful bedding arrangement, as a splash of bright color amid the perennial plants in a border, or as part of bushy, upright arrangements in pots or planted in the ground, petunias make excellent displays.
How to care for petunias
Petunias grown in pots and containers require regular watering, which is crucial. Avoid letting the compost dry out, but also be careful not to overwater it because this can result in spindly growth. During dry seasons, petunias planted in the ground also require watering.
To prevent sunburn on the tender leaves and huge flower petals, direct the flow of water onto the earth rather than showering the plant. In order to avoid burning, try to water in the early morning or late at night when it’s hot outside.
Feed plants with a potash-rich liquid fertilizer every 10 to 14 days in the summer and early fall (such as tomato fertilizer). Switching to a high-nitrogen fertilizer can accelerate growth for the final few weeks before the frosts if plants start to look drained in the fall.
Petunias appear better and produce more flowers when fading and dead flower heads are removed. Later in the season, trailing kinds that start to look straggly can be softly clipped. Feeding simultaneously will encourage new growth.
How to propagate petunias
Although they are not the easiest of plants to propagate, petunias can be produced from seed. When the temperature is 21C in late January, seed should be sowed. Petunia seeds need light to germinate, so don’t cover them. Instead, sow them on the surface of moist compost and cover them with polythene or place them in a propagator to keep them from drying out. Seedlings require a warm, well-lit, shaded habitat that is between 13 and 15 degrees Celsius.
A excellent middle ground between starting from seed and purchasing more expensive garden-ready plants is to purchase petunia plug plants. Early to mid-spring, mail-order plug plants are available. Plant them out only after hardening off and when all threat of frost has passed in individual 9cm pots and growing on a well-lit windowsill or in a heated greenhouse.
If pruned and transferred into a warm setting, some petunias, primarily trailing kinds, can be retained during the winter. If you don’t have much room, root cuttings in the late summer, pot them up separately, and store them indoors on a ledge for the winter.
Growing petunias: problem solving
Given the proper growing conditions and maintenance, petunias are often trouble-free. Young leaves and stems may develop aphid infestations; you may prevent this by checking your plants frequently and manually eradicating any tiny infestations. To control aphids, there are a variety of ready-to-use sprays available.
Snails and slugs can be an issue, especially for petunias that are rooted in the ground. Before putting petunias outside, grow them to a good size because larger plants are far more equipped to survive attack. Use an eco-friendly bait or surround plants with absorbent granules or barriers.
Do petunias reappear each year?
Only the warmest regions of the United States can support them as perennials (USDA zones 10 and 11). Petunia x hybrida is an annual, thus most gardeners treat it as such and replace it every year.
How often should petunia seedlings be watered?
For the first few weeks following planting, freshly planted petunias require evenly moist soil in order to develop a strong root system. Reduce watering to once every seven to ten days once the plant is established. At each irrigation, use 1 to 2 inches of water, or enough to hydrate the top 6 to 8 inches of soil.
Do petunias prefer direct sunlight?
Petunias require at least 5 to 6 hours of adequate sunlight, and they thrive in locations that receive full sun all day.
While soil doesn’t have to be incredibly rich to produce good petunias, it does need to drain well.
It’s always beneficial to condition garden soil with organic matter, such peat moss, compost, or manure.
Use a rototiller or garden fork to incorporate it into the soil 8 to 10 inches deep.
increases the capacity of light, sandy soil to hold moisture and nutrients while also aiding in the opening up of heavy clay soil, which enhances drainage.
How quickly do petunias grow?
In conclusion, not every petunia is a “spreading” or ground-covering kind. Even though spreading or “Wave” petunias are only six inches tall, they can spread out swiftly and cover a sizable garden space in a single growing season. The blossoms will grow even larger with regular watering and fertilizer. As a result, it’s crucial to prune your plants properly and frequently to keep them healthy.
Are petunias water-intensive plants?
Because petunias like direct sunlight, be careful that warmer weather might cause container plants to dry out more quickly. The plants require two daily waterings throughout these times. When the top 12-15 cm (5-6 inches) of bedding plants start to dry up, they need water. Plants that are in beds require deep watering once a week.
Petunias should be planted outside where?
Stunning petunias are among the most well-liked flowers due to their amazing blossoms and protracted blossoming time. By summertime, they become lanky like most annuals do, so you should cut the shoots back to about half their original length. See how to grow petunias and care for them to keep them in bloom.
In most regions, petunias are cultivated as annuals, however in zones 9 to 11, they can be grown as sensitive perennials. The blooms bloom from spring till frost and come in a variety of hues and patterns.
These vibrant annuals are frequently used in borders, pots, hanging baskets, and even as temporary groundcover because of how well they can brighten up a front yard. Some even have a faint scent. Their spread along the ground can be anywhere between 18 inches and 4 feet, and their height can range from 6 inches to 18 inches.
Types of Petunias
Petunias are categorized into several categories, primarily according to flower size:
- The most resilient and productive petunias are multiflora varieties. They are perfect for summer bedding or in a mixed border because they have smaller but more numerous flowers (because they are more tolerant to wet weather).
- Grandiflora petunias grow well in hanging baskets or pots since they have very enormous flowers (because they are more susceptible to rain damage). Due of their susceptibility to rot during humid, hot summers, these huge petunias frequently do not thrive as well in the south.
- Between the grandiflora and the multiflora groupings, floribundas constitute a middle ground. Similar to multiflora types, they are free-flowering and have medium-sized blooms.
- Compared to other petunias on the market, milliflora petunias are significantly smaller. Despite just being 1 to 1 1/2 inches across, the flowers are abundant and bloom the entire season.
- Low-growing, spreading or trailing petunias can spread as much as three to four feet. The flowers develop throughout the whole length of each stem, forming a stunning, vibrant groundcover. They can be utilized in hanging baskets or window boxes.
Petunias require full sun to avoid becoming spindly. In the shadow, they don’t typically flower well.
Particularly in containers, the soil should be able to drain effectively and not become too damp. In order to encourage the best growth, it should also be relatively fertile. Before planting, amend poor soil with finished compost.
When to Plant Petunias
- It is simplest to get young plants from a nursery that offers flats of petunias. Be on the lookout for short, compact plants. Leggy petunias with an abundance of flowers won’t establish themselves as quickly.
- Petunias should be started indoors 8 to 10 weeks prior to your final spring frost date if you wish to grow them from seed. (View the frost dates in your area.)
- After your last spring frost date, plant young petunias outdoors, but keep a close watch on the weather forecast and shield young plants from late frosts.
How to Plant Petunias
- Petunia seeds need a lot of light to grow because they are so tiny (like dust!).
- Plant the baby seedlings outside as soon as they have three leaves.
- Plants should be placed about a foot apart.
- Use a potting mix for pots that will drain effectively if you’re growing petunias in them.
- You shouldn’t have to worry about watering petunias frequently because they can withstand heat well. Once a week, thorough watering should be enough (unless there are prolonged periods of drought in your area). Avoid shallow irrigation since it promotes shallow roots.
- Petunias that spread and those grown in containers will need more frequent watering than ones that are rooted in the ground.
- To stimulate their quick development and profuse blooming, treat petunias once a month with a balanced fertilizer. Double-flowered cultivars benefit from fertilizer applied every two weeks.
What to Do With Leggy Petunias
- After pruning, give the plants plenty of fertilizer and water to encourage flowering and new development. At first, the plants may appear ragged, but they will recover with more color and blossoms.
- In milder areas, older garden petunia plants can benefit from rigorous pruning (within a few inches of the base) to re-encourage vitality. However, the remaining leaves should be left on the plant.
- Deadheading is the process of removing faded, old, or dead blossoms from plants in order to increase blooming and aesthetic appeal, especially for petunias with larger flowers. Seed pods are kept from competing with blossoms for the plant’s food sources by deadheading. Clippings can be recycled by being placed to a compost pile.
- The “Carpet Series” is particularly well-liked. They are perfect for ground cover since they are compact, early bloomers, with flowers that range in size from 11/2 to 2 inches, and have a variety of colors.
- The flowers of the “Primetime” series are uniformly and compactly spaced every 21/4 inches.
- Early, compact, double, deep lavender blue ‘Heavenly Lavender’ has 3-inch blooms on 12- to 14-inch bushes.